Rafael Nadal wins 13th French Open to claim record-equalling 20th grand slam title
Rafael Nadal has demolished world number one Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 in the French Open final to claim a record-equalling 20th grand slam title.
With the Spaniard’s record-improving 13th triumph at Roland Garros, world number two Nadal is now tied with Swiss Roger Federer as the player with the most men’s singles major titles.
Nadal was the early aggressor as he choked Djokovic to win the opening set in brutal fashion, having made only two unforced errors.
He then kept a firm grip on the Serbian in the second set under the roof of court Philippe Chatrier.
Djokovic, who was looking to win his 18th grand slam title, rebelled in the third set, breaking back for 3-3, only to drop serve on a double fault in the 11th game before Nadal went on to bag his 100th victory at Roland Garros with an ace.
“First of all of course congrats to Novak for another great tournament, sorry for today,” Nadal, who has now beaten Djokovic in all of their three French Open finals, said on court.
Djokovic had won five grand slam finals in a row since being beaten by Stan Wawrinka at the 2016 Australian Open, but Nadal was not unsettled by a new stadium design, the roof and the lack of spectators amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The 34-year-old Nadal said he was not thinking about matching Federer’s mark.
“To win here means everything. I don’t think today about the 20th and equalling Roger on this great number, today is just a Roland Garros victory and that means everything to me,” the world number two said.
Nadal is the oldest French Open champion since 1972 and the more than 15 years between his first and most recent grand slam titles is the longest such span for a man.
This was the 56th instalment of Nadal v Djokovic, the most meetings between any pair of men in the professional era, and their ninth in a grand slam final, equalling Nadal v Federer for the most.
Djokovic had won 14 of the past 18 matchups against Nadal, and led 29-26 overall, including a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 win in the 2019 Australian Open final.